Best Practices Assignment Opinion Post #1 Teen-‐Led Story Times in the Library By Rebecca Buckley LIS 506 Preconceptions Starting this assignment topic, I really only had my personal experience withmy own Teen-Led Story Time program to go on. I wasn’t sure if I would findmuch on the internet or in the databases for similar programming in otherlibraries. I know that my sporadic professional journal reading, at least over thelast couple of years, hasn’t turned up much on the topic. I thought that Iwouldn’t find many articles at all and I anticipated having to expand my topic tomore general volunteer opportunities for teens in the library instead. Doing abasic Google search for Teen-led Story Times, I found very little. I was surprisedto see that a few hits were related to programming for read-alouds FOR teenaudiences. I had previously read some research about how beneficial readingaloud could be for teenagers in the classroom, for example, but hadn’t heardabout public libraries doing programming like that before. I decided to check thedatabases and focused on the Library Literature & Information Science database.Using keywords like teens, libraries, storytelling, etc., and by expanding searchesby finding similar results on very relevant hits, I was able to find quite a numberof articles on the topic of Teen-led Story Times. Some of the articles were morerecent, others were decades old, but most included some relevant informationand, more interesting to me, some great ideas for programming initiatives. As I expected (because it has been my personal experience), the articles showevidence that Teen-led Story Times provide a great benefit to libraries, youngchildren and especially the teens themselves. According to a vast number of thearticles I read, teens really thrive with library service opportunities and manyreally enjoy working with small children as well. Teens get a feeling ofownership in the library and they get valuable work experience and communityservice opportunities as well. Many Youth Services departments in public
libraries are under-staffed and young children benefit from having access tomore library staff, even though teens are there in a non-professional capacity.Many teens are specially trained before working with young children in thelibrary. Librarians benefit as well because they building relationships with theteens, providing them with learning opportunities and expanding theirprogramming services to young children at the same time. Most of the articles I examined on the topic of Teen-led Story Times focused onpublic library initiatives. That was not surprising to me as I have yet to comeacross a high school library that is doing what I am doing with my Children’sLibrary. I am going to consider writing an article for publication as I think thatother high school librarians might be inspired by the idea. Many other highschools in the state of Missouri, I know, also house Child Development Centersand the collaboration between the high school library, the Early Educationprogram and the local public library would be a great benefit to many. In my database searching, I found many other articles of interest to me onstudent volunteering in the library. I have recently been short-staffed, havinghad one of my library assistant positions eliminated this year. I have beenattempting to use student volunteers as much as possible to help fill my staffingneeds. I plan on reading many of the articles I found in hopes of getting somegreat volunteer plan implementation ideas. I have student library aides and alsohave some of my Student Library Advisory Council students offer to assist fromtime to time, but the offers of help are sporadic and sometimes the quality ofwork is below par. I look forward to acquiring some ideas for improving mystudent volunteer staff by reading some of these additional articles.